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Brian J. Karem

Brian J. Karem

White House Columnist, Political Analyst, Best-Selling Author, Podcast Host, Former Correspondent for "America's Most Wanted" & Emmy-Nominated Investigative Reporter

Brian J. Karem

White House Columnist, Political Analyst, Best-Selling Author, Podcast Host, Former Correspondent for "America's Most Wanted" & Emmy-Nominated Investigative Reporter


Brian J. Karem is an award-winning journalist, Emmy-nominated reporter and author of seven books. Brian is a veteran White House correspondent and former senior correspondent for Playboy Magazine. He currently writes a weekly column on the White House for Salon.com and is also a regular contributor and columnist for The Washington Diplomat. He was the first guest on CNN's Reliable Sources, 30 years ago with Bernard Kalb and the last guest on Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter on the last show. Brian appears frequently on the country's top-rated network news shows, as well as numerous radio shows throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.

His podcast, “Just Ask the Question,” generates high ratings through topical interviews with engaging, knowledgeable guests, including veteran journalist Sam Donaldson, Emmy-nominated comedian and singer Randy Rainbow, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Alexander Vindman and Hollywood legend Carl Reiner, among others.

Karem is an accomplished First Amendment advocate and has testified before numerous state legislatures as well as Congress in support of free speech and a federal shield law for reporters. He is the founder of the “First Jailbirds Club,'' celebrating the accomplishments of reporters who have gone to jail to protect the First Amendment, and is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, the National Press Club and the White House Press Corps.

In addition, Karem is a recipient of numerous journalism awards, including the prestigious National Press Club Freedom of the Press Award and the Pieringer Award for Valor and Journalistic Excellence. Throughout his career, Karem has served on a number of volunteer boards. He is a former president of the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Press Association.

Karem has spoken, lectured and participated as a panelist at various college and university engagements as well as at many corporate and press events. He served as master of ceremonies for the Rene Moawad Foundation’s annual benefit gala and was a featured speaker at Detroit’s annual Images and Perceptions Diversity Conference. Karem has been the keynote speaker at several conferences, including Big Brothers Big Sisters in Louisville, Ky., and locally has moderated panel debates for candidates running for Congress, county executive and mayor, among others.

Speech Topics

Free the Press: Protecting Democracy in a Time of Crisis

When it comes to defending Free Speech, few can speak with the experience Brian possesses. In a case before the Supreme Court, he was jailed four times after refusing to give up a confidential source. He battled Donald Trump and beat him three times in court after Trump tried to confiscate his White House Press pass. Both cases helped expand reporting rights across the country. Brian testified in Congress and several legislatures to advocate for a shield law to protect reporters from divulging sources. These are pivotal stories in a fascinating keynote speech highlighting the growing problems of reporting in a corporate media environment that increasingly sacrifices local news for “clickbait” that means little and says less. It is a captivating, fascinating look into free speech and protecting our democracy that is often overlooked while also keenly felt every day.

Reporting Live from DC: The Ultimate Insider’s View of American Politics

With a career that includes covering every President since Ronald Reagan, this keynote speech will captivate an audience with humorous, insightful, and riveting stories of presidents, Congress, and the reporters who cover them daily.

Brian talks about current national events and the politics of today from a unique viewpoint. He’ll share some of his favorite stories and discuss what’s happening now and why we all need to care about what goes on in government. Those who want to be reporters or politicians will get the ultimate inside view of American politics and international affairs.

Stories from the Frontlines

During his career, Brian has covered conflicts in South and Central America, the hunt for drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, the Gulf War, the Ukrainian War, and several conflicts in the Middle East. He has also covered crime for America’s Most Wanted and several local television stations. His vast experience is the background for an engrossing keynote speech on the challenges of staying alive in a violent America ravaged by violence and an even more violent international arena where you must keep your head on a swivel while putting yourself in danger to keep people informed. It is the single most dangerous situation for any reporter, and the conflicting reports coming out of war zones speak to the need for cool heads and fearless reporting.

Preparing Young Journalists for Tomorrow

Having mentored young journalists for over a decade while running a community newspaper group, Brian knows what it takes to develop the next generation of journalists. Mentoring young journalists and the introduction to what it means to be a reporter – especially in the age of connectivity, is a keynote speech that will engross everyone. Key takeaways include covering how to report the news, letting people know it’s okay to change your mind, and why the scientific method is crucial in gathering facts. From even covering high school sports to the federal government, nobody cares what you think; they only care what you know. What is critical thinking? Stick around and find out.